ANOTHER CAPE ESCAPE!
It doesn't matter how many times I ride the Cape York peninsula of far north Queensland, it still remains one of the ultimate trail riding destinations in all of Australia.
I've just returned from another trip to the Tip, this time making the journey with the renowned Roy Kunda from Cape York Motorcycle Adventures and his crew.
This was my eighth ride (I think -- I've just about lost count!) up or down the Cape over the years, and this one was an up ride, kicking off from Cairns and then finishing just over a week later at Seisia at the very tip of the Australian mainland.
The tour was a full one, with half the group made up of our good mate Reeksy and a handful of his buddies (who made the long trek north to celebrate a combination of 40-year-old birthdays), along with another handful of solo riders from almost every state of Australia, to give us a total pack of 14 when you include Roy and his long-serving sweep rider, Lincoln. And you can't forget the inimitable Bevan, who drives the support truck and cooks up an absolute storm at the overnight camps.
I actually started the ride two days late after attending the 4x4 & Outdoor Show in Melbourne and missed all the fun and games of Black Mountain and the CREB track down near Cairns, and thus had to climb aboard my DR-Z400E hire bike and blast straight up to Cooktown in record time to catch the pack and then set-off north-west into the heart of Cape York proper with the tour group.
From there we camped out the next five nights, living off the provisions carried in Roy's V8-engined Landcrusier back-up truck and rinsing ourselves at each overnight stop in crystal clear creeks -- while keeping one eye out for crocs, of course!
We enjoyed some simply sensational riding as we sliced up the Cape, via side-tracks that criss-cross the main Development Road, and, of course, the infamous Telegraph Track in the final charge up to the Jardine River.
The Telegraph Track continues to be the stuff of legend, featuring a sinewy trail of deep sand twin-track mixed with bauxite rock outcrops, endless heath lands and eye-popping water-crossings that sure do get the blood pumping when your front wheel dives under and the water level starts lapping at your thighs. Right then the last thing you want to do is stall, that's for sure.
We eventually reached the Loyalty Beach campground at Seisia for our final two nights, and then made the last trek out to the very Tip of the Cape, where we grouped around the signpost and Roy popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate our achievement.
To a man we all enjoyed the week away, spent in good company enjoying some of the best trails you could ever hope to turn a wheel over. It was an absolute blast ... even if the barra weren't biting and our fishing rods failed to deliver the goods. Oh well, never mind.
But now, just a day after finishing the trip, it is fast becoming a distant memory.
I'm back at TZ HQ and TRAIL ZONE issue #26 is in the final stages of deadline, so the keyboard is a due for a thorough pounding these next few days.
Catch ya later ... and if you're dreaming of a Cape York experience of your own, check out the www.capeyorkmotorcycles.com.au web site and sign up for a ride -- and tell 'em TRAIL ZONE sent ya!